Summer’s laugh echoes
across marble walls and thru dark forests sprung from red clay
filled with residents of my imagination.

“write, boy,” she says. “make dramas in distant galaxies,
lean poems, and thoughtful essays.”

chained by laziness, cuffed by habit and collared by Mistress Obligation
i mutter, “so many gotta-do’s,
pop-up appointments and other baggage.”
barefoot, Summer moves toward the pier. “life is….”
“i know. it happens while we’re….”
she blows me a kiss.
“no. life is now, this moment, this day, this thought.”

Terry Redman

Terry Redman

My card says, “Mystery Fan, Bibliophile, Writer, Raconteur.” I have published in non-fiction, fiction and poetry. My current interests are creative blank verse and reading suspense or non-fiction. You can find my works on my blog and at Facebook.  Drop by and have a cup of coffee.

The Fragility of the Poet

Cracked Chipped Dented & Scraped is Poet
Nursing old wounds
Caring for them daily, gently is Poet
Poet sees what others do not
Eyesight is really heart-sight
There is silent weeping
The paper absorbs what pen pours out
Sensitive is Poet
Fragile is Poet
Ever transforming pain into meaning,
Mundane into significant,
Beauty into wonder
Already cracked chipped dented & scraped is Poet
So new injury is substance
To be consumed, digested, and re-created
As an offering of grace
Ever listening
Ever sensing
Fragile is Poet
Delicate and beautiful is she
Cracked. Chipped. Dented. & Scraped.

Stephanie Gibson

Stephanie Gibson

Part philosopher, part pragmatist, and part mystic, Stephanie’s writing most often makes observations about life’s contradictions and wonder, its pain and joy. Usually these take the form of narrative non-fiction and poetry. Her career path includes public and private sectors, group facilitating, journalism, and work with teens and young adults. Stephanie is a member of Writers of Kern.

This is Home

This is my home,
Where my first screams of life occurred.

I sat in its classrooms.
Rode bikes in its streets,
Played hopscotch and jump rope on its sidewalks.

I rode its buses to school, to work, to shop.
Swam in pools, jumped off the high dive into the cool water,
Had picnics in its parks.

I danced at the Inner Circle and Hi-Rise Café,
Drank until I vomited at the Cadillac Club.

I fell in love, over and over again,
Until I found the “one,”
But not the last.

My children first opened their eyes here,
Grew up, went to school, played
On the same streets.

It looks so different now.
Not the place I remember.

The house where I first saw light of day
Still stands, looking aged.
The sidewalks evoke ghosts forgotten with time.

Schools are still there,
Students run screaming out their doors.
The structures shudder with their new noise.

The pool is gone.
Replaced by a restaurant.

Everyone left the old neighborhood
Spreading out, out into new boundaries.
I can’t bear to see those streets of the past.

Town is rearranged.
The clubs no longer exist.
A stadium sits on the place christened with my spew.

The river front is glorious!
Decorated with fresh images.

Flying pigs top the entrance
A Serpentine walk winds ‘round
Laughter and smiles come from a carousel and swings.

This is my home.
Not the one I left
But the one I love.

Janet Skibinski

Janet Skibinski

Originally from Ohio, Janet now resides in Bakersfield, CA. Her love of writing began with creating her eighth grade Class Prophecy. Today Janet concentrates on family memoir, poetry, and her recently renewed interest in fiction. She serves as Writers of Kern secretary.

How Far is Far Away?

Only as far as a flicker of light
on the dragonfly’s sun-kissed wing

Only as far as the miracle
of flowers that bloom in the spring

Only as far as the ocean waves
as they play upon the shore

Only as far as the sunset
that closes each day’s door

Only as far as your laughter
that echoes in my ear

If only as far as your memory
Far away, is really right here

Sandy Moffett

Sandy Moffett

Sandy Moffett has been a writer and lyricist for more than 40 years. She has been published in, Mortuary Management and International Mortuary and Cemetery Management, Cup of Comfort: Devotional for Mothers and Daughters, and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels Among Us. Sandy is a long-time member of Writers of Kern.

Un Suited

Inhaling the gravity
of abandoned aspirations
she ponders the flesh of her disappointments
noticing too late
that the noise of her inheritance
the texture of her imaginings
and the emptiness
of a counterfeit story

What she was given
did not suit her
like the hand-me-down prom dress
it smelled alien and too familiar
it felt inbred

she turned away from
the secondhand  pretense

lusting towards her own desires
she decorates her life
with unburdened joy


Anke Hodenpijl

When Anke Hodenpijl is not a poet, she is a singer of songs, mother, grandmother, partner, gardener, traveler, and foodie. She thinks life is delicious, poetry is the essence of joy, and relationships are the reason for it all.